Before reading further, stop and ask yourself, “What do I want in this New Year?”
Welcome to Everyday Miracle Stories!
I am very pleased to introduce this series and am grateful to Amy Speach, who is writing the stories. Amy drove from Syracuse, New York to attend a retreat in October 2008 and instantly became an integral part of James and my life and our Course Oasis community. Amy is a gifted writer and, inspired by the students’ stories she heard that day, she suggested that we make them available on our website. We thought it was a great idea; she went to work interviewing and writing; and here we are. We hope that you will be inspired by the stories, by the people you will meet through them, and by A Course in Miracles, this powerful path of transformation, healing, and awakening.
I first came to Course Oasis in October 2008, when I attended a mini-retreat on the holy instant. At the time, I had been studying the Course on my own for about six years. I met Mary Anne through the Circle of Atonement’s online Circle Course Community, which I joined as a founding member in January 2008. Other than the support materials from the Circle, I hadn’t yet worked with a teacher in my Course studies, so I was blown away when I saw the ways Mary Anne makes the Course come alive for her students. I was amazed by the depth of understanding demonstrated by the people I met at Course Oasis that day, and the ways they were internalizing the Course, applying its lessons in very practical ways, and experiencing healing in their everyday lives-even people who had been working with the Course for only a few months. That first experience inspired me to collaborate with Mary Anne on this series of miracle stories-personal accounts of healing that beautifully illustrate the power of A Course in Miracles to transform our relationships and our lives in this world. I dedicate them with deep gratitude to Mary Anne and James for the work they do at Course Oasis to honor the life of the Course, and with love and appreciation to those whose stories appear here-for their openness, honesty, and willingness to share their personal experiences of working with the Course.
Syracuse, New York
The time was the late 1950’s; the place, New York–Columbia University’s Medical Center, to be precise. Two psychologists, Dr. Bill Thetford and Dr. Helen Schucman, were working together in a psychology department that was full of dissent, suspicion, competition, and back-biting. Although they were clear about their being meant to work together, their own relationship was filled with conflict and tension. As the years passed, they found themselves in a worsening situation, surrounded by ever-widening circles of interpersonal conflict with each other, as well as with others in their department, with other departments, and with other medical centers. Continue reading
Jesus did not die for our sins; he was not punished because we are bad. A loving God would not punish any of His creations or cause them to suffer, let alone die for anyone else’s so called “sins”. Jesus died and was resurrected to demonstrate that we have not sinned; therefore, we have done nothing for which to be punished.
Do you “teach only love”? Imagine how your life would be if you did; that is, if you demonstrated love in every aspect of your life. Luckily, we have the perfect example of someone who did exactly that–Jesus–and the most striking example of this was his crucifixion. Continue reading
The question, “Who am I?”, is one that people have asked since time began. Am I just this body? Am I a spiritual being in physical form or a physical being with a spiritual side? Am I two selves, one a “lower” self and the other a “higher” self? You may be familiar with the tale that ends with the question, “Was the philosopher dreaming that he was a butterfly, or was the butterfly dreaming that he was a man?” In Who Dies? (p.29), Stephen Levine says, “If you made a list of everything you own, everything you think of as you, everything you prefer, that list would be the distance between you and the living truth….” Continue reading
We have our own ideas of what miracles are, but chances are they do not include the concept that miracles are something in which you can take a course. A course, after all, is an educational program with a specific curriculum. It teaches something, and after having taken and passed it, the student has learned something new, which he or she can then apply to his or her life. Continue reading
I grew up seeing Christmas as a time of sacrifice. My mother slaving over a hot stove for days preparing traditional Ukrainian dishes; hard-earned dollars stretched thin to accommodate food and drink and a child’s wish list; peace of mind given up by people rushing to meet the demands of the season and racing around shopping to meet the expectations of others; being deprived of a quiet family celebration by too much drinking and arguing. “Slaving over,” “stretched thin,” “given up,” “being deprived,” what do those words signify, if not sacrifice? What are “demands” and “expectations,” if not requests that others sacrifice to fulfill our idea of Christmas: “If you loved me, you would”. Continue reading
Life can seem very complex and confusing at times, so it’s not surprising that we find it complicated and difficult to make decisions. It seems as if we have so many choices, and each of these choices has different outcomes. How do we know what the right choice is? How do we know we’ll get what we want? I’ve read recently that, overwhelmed and confused by the multiplicity of choices on grocery store shelves, shoppers tend to head right for a familiar brand and select it. No wonder we tend to stick with familiar patterns of behaviour and ways of thinking and make the same decisions over and over again. Continue reading